Imagine a Vespa weaving in and out of traffic. That’s the musical equivalent of a piccolo soloist.
A Fiat 500 might be a violinist, still nimble enough to park in small spaces; a bassoonist a Volvo Estate – surprisingly heavy, and getting trickier to manoeuvre.
Then at the larger end, a double bassist could be a clunky van with a dodgy clutch, and a percussionist with a set-up of timpani or a vibraphone is an articulated lorry.
Now imagine a whole orchestra. In our case, upwards of 32 musicians and their instruments to transport from venue to venue – a logistical supertanker.
Hauling an ocean-going oil tanker up the narrow and steep streets of Anghiari, plus the winding dirt-track hairpins of Tuscany, is certainly a good way to justify an extra pizza or two. With 23 events over the past week, as we move between rehearsal and concert venues several times a day, hundreds of calories are burned loading and unloading the van (we’ve called her Sonia) or pulling Veera the bass case (she’s unable to stay in a straight line) up the cobbled inclines of a hill-town. Led by the industrious Jo and Sam (Orchestra Managers), we’ve become quite adept at hopping between – and, thanks to the rain this week, quite often in and out of – churches, piazzas, schools and castles on top of mountains.
So, just in case the photos of stunning views and beautiful ancient theatres were giving the impression we’re living the Italian high life, here’s our illustrated top five methods of Tuscan orchestral transport:
5) Bassman’s lift:
4) Sonia the van:
3) Old fashioned brute force:
2) The wheelbarrow:
1) The Ape: